St. Joseph Health System
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Surgical Options

Sleeve Gastrectomy

Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy is a procedure that restricts food intake by removing a portion of the stomach and creating a smaller stomach pouch. No gastrointestinal rerouting is required allowing the stomach to function normally. The hormone that stimulates the feeling of hunger is removed which reduces the desire to eat. Weight loss and improvement of weight-related illnesses are a few of the results.


  • No implanted medical device.
  • Although the stomach is reduced in size and the amount of food which can be eaten is restricted, the stomach functions normally.
  • The major part of the stomach which produces hormones responsible for stimulating hunger is removed from the digestive system.
  • The problem of dumping is avoided.
  • Minimizes the possibility of the patient developing ulcers.
  • Avoids the problems associated with bypass forms of weight loss surgery including anemia, intestinal obstruction or blockage, osteoporosis and protein and vitamin deficiency.
  • Provides a solution for patients with conditions with place them at an unacceptably high risk from other forms of bariatric surgery.


  • As this form of surgery does not provide any element of gastric bypass some patients may experience a disappointing weight loss or weight regain.
  • Patients can slow weight loss if they do not stick to a strict diet following this form of surgery.
  • Complications may occur as a result of the stomach stapling.
  • The procedure is not reversible as part of the stomach is permanently removed.
  • Leaks from the staple lines.














Adjustable Gastric Banding

Gastric Banding is a procedures which induces weight loss through a restriction of food intake by placing an adjustable band around the upper part of the stomach. Although the weight loss occurs more slowly, there is no cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or intestine. Periodic adjustments of the band via saline solution injections regulate stomach capacity, hunger and weight loss.


  • No intestinal re-routing, cutting or stapling of the stomach wall or bowel.
  • Adjustable and reversible, allowing for individualized degree of restriction for ideal rate of weight-loss.
  • Low risk of nutritional deficiencies or malnutrition risk.
  • Hospital stay is usually less than 24 hours.
  • Full surgical recovery usually occurs  within about 2 weeks.


  • Slower initial weight loss than Gastric Bypass or the Sleeve Gastrectomy.
  • Regular follow-up appointments are crucial for optimal results.
  • Requires an implanted medical device to be placed into the body.
  • In some cases, effectiveness can be reduced due to band slippages or band erosion.
  • The access port may leak and require additional surgical procedures.

Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass

Gastric Bypass is the most commonly performed operation for weight loss in the United States. The procedure involves creating a smaller stomach pouch and gastrointestinal rerouting. Rapid weight loss and improvement of weight-related medical illnesses are a few of the results. Patients often experience an early sense of fullness and satisfaction that reduces the desire to eat.


  • No implanted medical device.
  • The average excess weight loss after the Roux-en-Y procedure is generally higher in a compliant patient than with purely restrictive procedures.
  • One year after surgery, weight loss can average 77% of excess body weight.
  • A 2000 study of 500 patients showed that 96% of certain associated health conditions studied (back pain, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression) were improved or resolved.
  • Hospital stay is usually 48 hours.
  • Many patients return to normal activity within 2 weeks of surgery.


  • Iron, protein and vitamin deficiences may result. These deficiences can be managed through proper diet and vitamin supplements.
  • Intestinal obstruction or blockage
  • Osteoporosis (can be managed through proper diet and vitamin supplements)
  • Leaks from staple lines
  • Ulcers
  • A condition known as "dumping syndrome" can occur as the result of rapid emptying of stomach contents into the small intestine. This condition is usually a result from patient eating too many sweets.
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